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M.A.C Hyper Real foundation, $39 through maccosmetics.ca.

When a brand discontinues a product or shade, changes a formula or simply folds, finding a replacement can be a frustrating process. An informal poll of my Instagram followers revealed that many of them were still quite emotionally attached to discontinued products, some of which have been out of production for more than a decade. “It’s like I’m losing my face!” one friend wrote of the blush shade she could no longer find. “I’ve never found another one as good,” another wrote about her mascara.

There are a few different ways to cope with this cosmetic grief. If you’ve been given advance warning, you can start by hoarding all the leftover stock you can get your hands on, like one friend did when her favourite BB cream was discontinued. If you’ve accepted the product’s demise, the next step is to hunt for a replacement. In the United States, Estée Lauder Cos. have a Gone But Not Forgotten program that will help you search for discontinued products from their brands and buy up to six pieces depending on the stock left over. Websites such as Temptalia maintain a dupes database, where you can search for similar products or try sleuthing the ingredient list to find something similar. In the Twitter age, you can also take to social media to ask a brand to bring your long lost essential back. It worked at M.A.C in August, when the makeup company reintroduced its Hyper Real Foundation, which was gradually phased out after its launch in 1999.

As for me, consider this my nudge to the Body Shop to bring back its watermelon-scented after-sun spray, a childhood favourite I haven’t spritzed since the 1990s.

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